Millennium Post

Let go of foolish pride

If you’re feeling angry, hurt or betrayed, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and feel like a victim. But, there is a gift in every situation, even in the worst ones, if you look for it

I'm 26 and I get too affected with situations and feel angry, hurt and uncomfortable. Please help me overcome this.

Tanisha Mehta, New Delhi

Every moment of pain or joy in our lives is defined by the story we create about an experience. You have the power to reframe your story about anything that has hurt you and any of the circumstances surrounding it. If you're feeling angry, hurt or betrayed, it's easy to get stuck in a rut and feel like a victim. Instead of feeling angry or victimised by someone's actions, try to find the silver lining in the experience. There is a gift in every situation, even in the worst ones, if you look for it. The heart is a muscle. It only becomes stronger with use – so open up, take a risk and get comfortable with time.

My son told me that he is gay. I threw him out of my house. Now, I don't know where he is and I'm worried about him. Was I wrong?

Name withheld

I'm so sad this happened – sad for your son, who must be devastated, but also sad for you. To live with your fears and anxieties must be hell. And to project them on to your child, when they needed your love and support the most, must feel like the ultimate failure of parenthood. Forget your foolish pride or the opinions of outsiders. Look deep into your heart and realise that your son needs your love and support to find happiness in his life. He needs your acceptance, even if you feel anxious about his future or the reactions of the neighbours. Realise that anyone who judges your son and your love for him negatively, is not worth your attention. Find your son, confess your sin of pride and your fear of being ostracised, and bring him back into the arms of a loving mother. I wish you strength to overcome your prejudice.

My son is in Class VIII and I get regular complaints about his habit of bullying. Please suggest how I can put an end to it.

Mrs. S Ghosh, Kolkata

It's important to tell your child that his bullying behaviour is not right. Try to be calm about it, but make sure he knows that you want it to end.

Here's how to start:

Explain to your child what bullying is. Talk with your child about what he's doing and why he might be doing it. Listen to him and try to avoid blaming.

Help your child understand how his behaviour affects others – for example 'Would you like someone to do that to you?' or 'How do you think that made the other person feel?'

Keep an eye on your child's use of the internet and mobile phones.

Try to divert his energy on something that is constructive – sports, art. He needs to feel good about doing something better.

I fear I'm suffering from depression. What are the signs to determine it?

Name withheld

Though depression is different for every person, there are a few signs that are hallmarks of the illness. You may have depression, if:

You feel worthless, helpless or guilty without knowing why.

You're feeling hopeless about most aspects of your life and can't imagine that anything will improve for you.

You feel a decrease in your energy levels and are tired no matter what you do.

You feel restless at night and have trouble sleeping and/or waking up in the morning.

You've stopped feeling pleasure doing the activities that used to make you happy, such as spending time with friends, pursuing your hobbies or being intimate.

There has been a dramatic change in your sleeping habits, such as insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping.

You have lost your appetite or are overeating, but cannot stop.

It is much easier for you to be alone than to put the effort into interacting with others.

You constantly feel irritable for no reason.

You have had thoughts of suicide. If you are having suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately.

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